Family Beach Vacation

Your guide to planning a family beach trip

Whether you're looking to escape the cold, gray winter or just want to spend your summer days soaking up the sun, a family beach vacation can be the perfect opportunity to relax and bond. Day trips to nearby beaches are relatively easy, affordable ways to spend the weekend or odd vacation day, but if you want to truly get away from it all, there are plenty of options for cheap family beach vacations at home and abroad.

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All-Inclusive Family Beach Resorts

Although available in other locations, all-inclusive resorts are the calling card of the Caribbean, as well as certain destinations in Mexico. These vacations include airfare, accommodations, meals, and even alcohol. Most family beach resorts also include certain children's programming at no extra cost.

The main advantage to these vacations is that you know exactly what they'll cost before you go -- there are no surprise expenditures. You may want to take a few day trips or buy some souvenirs, but these are discretionary and can be planned for in advance. All of your necessities during the vacation are covered in the initial price.

Another advantage to all-inclusive resorts is that you don't have to worry about anything while you're there -- no renting a car or finding a suitable restaurant. Everything you need is right on site, and most resorts are practically on the beach, so you can easily walk to and from during the day.

Finally, family-oriented resorts often have daycare and/or planned activities for the children, giving you a bit of a break and allowing them to socialize with others their age. Sometimes, these programs come at an additional cost, but this is usually indicated on the resort website or in their literature, so you can take these costs into account before you book your vacation.

Local Family Beach Trips

America is home to some of the world's finest beaches -- and you don't necessarily don't have to go south to find them. Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Jersey -- all have some fabulous beaches for families to enjoy, and most are free to access. Historic Cape May on the Jersey shore is the oldest seaside resort in the country, and Cape Cod once hosted the likes of John F. Kennedy, who designated it a national seashore.

Of course, southern seashores like those in Florida and California are also popular beach vacation spots and are perfect for March break or Christmas family vacations. Florida is also home to one of the world's most popular family nude beaches, Haulover Beach. While the clothing-optional section is merely a part of the bigger Haulover Beach park, it continues the family-friendly atmosphere of the larger park with a variety of shaded picnic spots, landscaped dunes, and concession stands.